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Feed your garden so it can feed you

Spring-blooming shrubs such as this California lilac need feeding now.
Spring-blooming shrubs such as this California lilac need feeding now. rbenton@sacbee.com

Did your garden wake up hungry? Late February is a great time to put your plants on a healthy diet. They’ve got a lot of growing to do.

▪ Feed spring-blooming shrubs and fall-planted perennials with slow-release fertilizer.

▪ Feed mature trees and shrubs after spring growth starts.

▪ Fertilize strawberries and asparagus.

▪ Before planting vegetable and flower gardens, feed your soil with compost and organic matter.

▪ February is a great time for planting spring and summer flowers. Transplant or direct-seed several flowers, including snapdragon, candytuft, lilies, astilbe, larkspur, Shasta and painted daisies, stocks, bleeding heart and coral bells.

▪  In the vegetable garden, plant Jerusalem artichoke tubers, and strawberry and rhubarb roots. Transplant cabbage and its close cousins – broccoli, kale and Brussels sprouts – as well as lettuce (both loose leaf and head).

▪ Plant artichokes, asparagus and horseradish from root divisions. Plant potatoes from tubers and onions from sets (small bulbs). The onions will sprout quickly and can be used as green onions in March.

▪ From seed, plant beets, chard, lettuce, mustard, peas, radishes and turnips.

▪ Plant summer-flowering bulbs including cannas, calla lilies and gladiolus.

▪ Indoors, start peppers, tomatoes and eggplant from seed.

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